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Clear Water updates vandalism situation

LANETT — At Monday’s meeting, the Lanett City Council received an update on the recent vandalism at the wastewater treatment plant. Houston Black, project manager for Clear Water Solutions, Auburn, said that personnel from Clearwater’s Hoover plant had recently been in town to help the Lanett staff with the cleanup. Straw has been put in place to cover the damaged areas along Tanyard Creek.

Black added that officials from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, or ADEM, and been in Lanett to inspect the plant and to see the damaged area.

“They were well satisfied with what we’d done and collected E. coli samples both upstream and downstream,” he said. “They will tell us what they found next week.”

“This vandalism would have been a lot worse without Clear Water,” Mayor Kyle McCoy said. “They have handled it very well. I think we made a very good decision to go with them.”

Earlier this year, the city decided to contract with Clear Water rather than the city continuing to do it. Thus far, it’s less costly for the city to pay Clear Water than to be the operator.

Sometime on the weekend of July 28-29, an unknown person or persons vandalized the wastewater plant, causing close to 2.3 million gallons of sewage to overflow and spread along the ground near the plant and on the banks of nearby Tanyard Creek.

Most of the sewage was solid waste.

The runoff into the river was minimal, according to city officials.

An unspecified amount of damage was done to the plant and equipment, causing a backup in four manholes near Tanyard Creek.